If we’ve learned anything from the civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, it’s this: When you need them, the police may not stand up to protect you or your property. If you own a home, you probably pay your property taxes. If you own a business, you probably pay your business taxes. If it’s required in your city, county, or state, you probably pay income taxes and other taxes as well. As a good citizen, you probably also pay your federal income taxes.
In return, the deal that you may believe exists between you and your various governments is that the taxes you pay will fund anything necessary to ensure a civil society, including the various police forces, which exist to ensure tranquility (to keep the peace), to enforce the law, and to protect life and property. In other words, to protect and serve. To ensure Law and Order.
Or, at least that’s what we all used to believe.
If you own a home or business, you probably expect that if there’s riot or civil unrest, the police will protect you and your property from havoc. Isn’t that part of why you pay taxes?
Did you ever imagine that a governor could or would extra-legally replace local police chiefs with another person, who has been chosen based upon the color of his skin?
That’s what MO Governor Jay Nixon did, after forging a behind-closed-doors “nonwritten agreement” with St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and, of course, after talking on the phone with Barack Obama. Nixon corrected the illegality when a day later he finally declared a state of emergency, triggering his authority to usurp the local constabulary, who were hired or appointed by duly elected representatives of their communities.
In the meantime, Nixon’s newly enshrined security commander, Captain Ronald Johnson, had made a conscious decision to allow the looting and destruction of Ferguson businesses to continue, unhindered by officers under his command. Johnson decided that they should “stand down.” Either he did, or someone else “behind closed doors” made the decision and ordered Ron Johnson to carry it out. (By the way, Obama has been known to issue “stand down” orders on the U.S. border as well as in Benghazi. Not to mention Iraq and Afghanistan.)
Johnson acknowledged the “stand down” order: [emphasis added to quotes]
Gabe Crocker, president of the county’s police union … blamed Johnson for ordering police to ignore dozens of looters who ransacked stores along West Florissant after the confrontation with police.
Johnson acknowledged to NBC News on Saturday that he ordered officers to stand down, saying, “We lost some meat from a store, we lost some alcohol from a store, things that can be replaced, but we didn’t lose a life that we can’t replace.”
Perhaps NBC News got it wrong? Maybe the reporter misunderstood? Nope:
That night [Johnson’s second night in command] ended with mass lootings, shots fired from the crowd and drivers performing dangerous, high-speed doughnuts in the middle of West Florissant Avenue.
Johnson watched the mayhem unfold from police lines. “I was disappointed. I was hurt. There was great pain,” he said.
“I felt like the focus had been lost, turned away from a young man who lost his life and a set of parents who lost their son. It began to be focused on personal agendas.”
Throughout the night’s turmoil, which lasted almost until dawn last Saturday, police watched without interfering, as Johnson had commanded them.
But they did not stand quietly.
“I heard the grumbling among the officers on the line,” Johnson said. “They were saying, ‘Are we just going to stand here and do nothing while they loot those businesses?’ That was a hard moment.”
Johnson responded that the lives of officers and [lives of] looters were not worth the items that had been stolen.
In the big scheme of things, that may be true. Nevertheless, the “items” stolen (TVs, electronics, prescription narcotics, custom chrome wheels, pricey sneakers, designer clothing) were not his. The expensive windows broken were not his. The businesses destroyed were not his. The livelihoods and jobs destroyed were not his. Who is going to make these relatively invisible victims whole?
Who else but the taxpayers? Open your wallets! You will pay because Johnson ordered police to “stand down,” despite that you already paid them to stand up. A federal bailout is in the works, so taxpayers across the country will pay for the crimes of thieves who might have been stopped from destroying businesses, had police been allowed to do their jobs.
Had the police arrested the perpetrators, then there would have been far less damage. What damage was done could then be paid for by the looters themselves, some of whom seemed well off enough to possess late-model cars and SUVs from which to loot. Let those who incited the rioting also be required to pay.
People in MO and perhaps across the country will also pay in the form of higher insurance premiums because damage was greater than it would have been, had the police not stood down. The property owners in Ferguson will see their real estate values plummet, as well.
A federal bailout is classic Obama–use taxpayer money to pay off people who might otherwise oppose Democrat policy decisions. In this case, making police stand down. If I were a business owner whose store was looted as cops watched, I’d consider a lawsuit. Wouldn’t you? Buy them off and the problem goes away.
This wasn’t any natural disaster. It was wholly anthropogenic. The humans who caused it and the humans whose policies allowed it to become a “disaster” should be the ones to pay.
As a result of police being ordered to stand in a line across the street and watch while businesses were destroyed, some owners were forced to take action to defend their own properties:
Following the Ferguson police stand-down order from the Missouri State Highway patrol, frustrated citizens and area shop owners have taken up arms to defend themselves and their businesses from looters.
Frantic calls from an unnamed Ferguson shop owner to county police were met with a bureaucratic squabble, and ultimately no response from law enforcement. …
Captain Johnson from Missouri State police told the complaining caller that his department “had it under control” and claimed that there were police outside the shops. But the business owner said he witnessed looters carrying out goods without any officers in sight.
“We trusted the cops to take care of the situation,” the shop owner told the station in an interview. “That’s what they said, they gonna keep it peaceful. They didn’t do their job.”…
Even worse, the police deliberately didn’t do their jobs, under orders from Ronald Johnson. Where was Johnson’s concern for the lives of the store owners and their employees? (Thank goodness that the owner of County Guns was able to prevent that store from being looted!)
Shop owners (many of whom are immigrants or children of immigrants from the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Asia, and India, who came here seeking the American Dream) rushed to their businesses in the middle of the night, and then had to enter darkened stores, not knowing what they would find.
One man caught two looters in the act. Fortunately, they were either unarmed or decided not to confront him and fled. What if instead they had attacked and killed the store owner as police stood watching? What then would Johnson say?
Another man was beaten with a bat when he tried to detain looters, as they fled with arms full of goods. What about that man’s life? (He apparently survived.)
Why do we pay taxes to support our local police departments if, for political reasons, a governor and/or a president can usurp the local authorities–the community authorities–and order our police employees to “stand down” and not do the jobs that we pay them to do?
By the way, if the Congressional Black Caucus gets its wish, then Obama will (unconstitutionally) usurp police departments across the entire country, if he appoints a “Police Czar”. (h/t Leza.) Coming soon to a neighborhood near you: Universal stand down orders from Washington, DC.
It seems that Nixon replaced local officers to prevent them from doing their jobs and to ensure that the highway patrol troopers and police officers who were present over the coming days would “stand down” as ordered.
Is this how it’s going to be henceforth? Politicians will second guess the tactics of seasoned law enforcement commanders? Ron Johnson is virtually untrained in urban policing. He’s a highway patrol commander. Highway patrol officers give out tickets, change tires, respond to road accidents, and rescue stranded motorists. They don’t stop looters or put down riots.
Why was it necessary for a Democrat politician, Governor Jay Nixon, to micromanage unrest in Ferguson–unrest that was stage managed by Obama with the help of Al Sharpton? Wouldn’t you have loved to be a fly on the wall when Nixon spoke to Obama the morning Nixon announced the change in command?
Is it standard policy for police departments (or will it now become standard policy) to decide that property is less important than the lives of criminals, so that police will not enforce the law or stop looting during civil unrest? We the People need to know.
Are citizens of certain “communities” exempt from following laws against looting, disturbing the peace, breaking and entering? We the People, no matter our color or ethnicity, need to know.
What is the hierarchy of importance when police authorities, led by Democrat politicians, rank individuals or “communities” while formulating policy? Will looters always get a pass during riots if the “black community” is upset about something? In the future, will hypothetical white looters be cut the same slack? Will the concerns of the “white community” be similarly taken into account? How about the “Asian community” or the “Hispanic community”?
During hypothetical civil unrest, if whites or Hispanics loot the businesses of Middle Eastern, black, or Asian immigrants, will the police stand up or stand down? We’ve seen that they may stand down if the looters are mostly black and the “black community” is upset, so what will they do if looters are white or Hispanic or Asian?
For that matter, why do liberal protesters have different rules to follow than Tea Party protesters? Were there permits applied for and issued? Did Ferguson protesters have to clean up after themselves and supply port-a-potties? Did they have to buy liability insurance? Will the double standard continue into the future?
In the Democrat hierarchy of race and ethnicity, will black looters’ lives always rank higher than Middle Eastern or Asian immigrant lives, despite that Democrats profess to love immigrants?
We must juxtapose looters’ lives with store owners’ lives because when police officers don’t act, then store owners must and will act, as we have seen, which puts their own lives in danger from the criminals. Obviously, the police are trained to handle such situations, while business and home owners are not. That’s exactly why we hire police and not, as some might think, to enrich public employee unions.
We might ask the same questions of the mainstream media. For example, blacks whose businesses were not looted have become subjects of sympathetic news articles. Similar stories are hard to find in the mainstream media concerning the plight of the many immigrant shopkeepers whose stores were nearly destroyed by mostly black looters. Few reporters, if any, mention the race or ethnicity of most victims of the looting. Surely there are some compelling human interest stories there. Why isn’t the mainstream media reporting them?
Inability to decide with which minority group to choose up sides?
Is this also why we read little to nothing about the convenience store owner who was assaulted by Michael Brown? Wouldn’t his story seem to be of public interest? This is what happens when the media become invested in the narrative and insert themselves into the story, instead of behaving like unbiased observers and reporters. It’s also what happens when progressives divide the American people into an infinite number of grievance groups.
One wonders whether or not hate crime laws apply to the looters, and whether Eric Holder ought to also investigate at least the possibility that some black looters violated the civil rights of non-blacks by targeting their stores while avoiding stores known to be owned by blacks. Some store owners helpfully wrote “black owned” on their windows to deter looters who must have been unaware the first time around.
Do immigrants not have civil rights? Is Eric Holder not also the Attorney General for immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Korea?
You might consider asking these questions of your own local police authorities. Also ask these questions of your elected representatives in local, state, and federal government, since some of them have promoted this outrageous micromanagement.
Is Ferguson a new precedent? Will police always be told to “stand down” during times of civil unrest, looting, rioting? This, it seems, is important for all of us to know.
If the police will not protect us, then we have no choice but to prepare to protect ourselves.
What do politicians want? The second coming of the Wild West? Do they expect victims to take it and like it because, after all, “some meat” and “some alcohol” aren’t as important as looters’ lives?
Thanks to the Second Amendment, citizens do have the ability to keep and bear arms in order to protect their lives and, in some cases, their property. Missouri is one among many states with a “castle doctrine“:
A castle doctrine (also known as a castle law or a defense of habitation law) is a legal doctrine that designates a person’s abode (or, in some states, any legally occupied place [e.g., a vehicle or workplace]) as a place in which that person has certain protections and immunities permitting him or her, in certain circumstances, to use force (up to and including deadly force) to defend themselves against an intruder, free from legal responsibility/prosecution for the consequences of the force used. Typically deadly force is considered justified, and a defense of justifiable homicide applicable, in cases “when the actor reasonably fears imminent peril of death or serious bodily harm to him or herself or another”. The doctrine is not a defined law that can be invoked, but a set of principles which is incorporated in some form in the law of many states.
Therein lies the rub. Law differs from state to state. A home or business owner may be subject to a civil lawsuit from the offender or the family of a deceased offender for acting to protect property instead of lives. Even worse, the victim may find himself criminally prosecuted. Not all states are like Texas.
If henceforth police are not going to protect the property as well as the lives of the public, then laws should be changed to allow citizens to protect themselves without fear of civil lawsuits or criminal prosecution.
How do commanders like Ronald Johnson propose to prevent the looting of businesses in the future after the terrible example that was set in Ferguson?
Looters showed no fear. Many knew they were being videotaped, yet they did not cover their faces. Many arrived in cars but did not bother to cover their license plates (although on subsequent days some did remove the plates and cover their faces).
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar promised citizens that the police would investigate the vandalism and looting, and arrest those who can be identified. One must wonder, however, if those cases will be pursued, given the current climate. The promise was made before Governor Nixon usurped Belmar’s command. Protestors are already crying out for amnesty for those arrested.
It seems we must add a new expression to the law enforcement lexicon:
Another question we should ask when the usual suspects (Democrats and progressives) talk about the “need” for gun control and repeal of the Second Amendment:
Who will protect the People and their property if We the People are disarmed?
The left lost big time in the Supreme Court where they had hoped for a ruling that the Second Amendment applies only to the National Guard and is not an individual right. They lost, but like the Terminator, they cannot be stopped and so they will continue to try to disarm the People.
We the People of the United States of America, all of us, no matter our skin color or ethnicity, need to know that the law will be enforced equally, no matter in which “community” infractions occur.
After Ferguson, can we count on that to happen?